Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Relation with Non-Jews (continued)

When, when the non-Jews in the town started to, um...


attack you as Jews, were they among them? Manya and her sisters?

No, they, they left before to the big city, because he saw what's going on. So it came another priest, which was very friendly towards us. He was single. He has his parents and he was single because if they are uh, the uh, the Greek or Catholics uh, if they are not married before they are ordained, they can't marry after. So uh, he was uh, you know, but. He was friendly with us. He used to come over and talk to us. But uh, when the other priest was--I used to go to confessions, to listen to confessions to church, with one of the girls, you know. I went to listen to confession. And uh, so I found out, they did damage for us, that--a neighbor. They had always blamed us. Their cow doesn't give milk--they had one cow, we had six milking cows--because our cows took the milk from, from their cow. So he used to go put salt under a stone if the cows, the cows, the cows uh, you know, come out and then he took the salt and give for his cow, she should, they steal the milk. He did all kinda things. So uh, he went and cut down for us the corn, a whole field with corn. And uh, then he, the police came. Well, you couldn't say that he did it, you know. So when the police, it was le...uh, going away, so he run after the police the end of the town and offered them a chicken--which he stole the chicken from us--and he offered them a chicken. So the policeman took the chicken, the gendarme and he come to us and ask us if we're missing a chicken. We say yeah. That time you know, even they hated us, the poli...the--those gendarmes, but they--if they come to town they had nowhere where to eat, there was no restaurant. So they went to the Jews to eat. So he come and, and says--my mother says yeah, he, he paid for them with our chicken. So uh, then we found out. And they took, we took him to court and everything. I remember because I heard, he went to confession and he told the priest that he did it. So uh, I come home and I told my parents--I didn't tell him I, where, how I heard it. Just, I said the girl you know, the priest's daughter told me. And they--he woulda killed her that she told me. So finally I told mother we was in the church and we was listening. So my mother was very angry that I did that. She says, "You should never go to church to listen to their confessions." And uh, I said, "Well I heard what he said that he killed uh, the chickens." And uh, and uh, he poisoned the, know, the goose for us he poisoned--he went to the water, he poisoned them there. And uh, he did all kind of things because he didn't have fields. So he did. But uh, he come into the house and he was openly talking against Jews and so. But we could not throw him out, you know. We just listened to him and nothing. When mother said, used to say, "oh stupid goy you know, he doesn't know what he's talking."

Now this is what? This is still 1943, '42, '43.

Yeah, yeah.

Your friends left then. The priest moved away.

Moved away, yeah. But they was always in touch with me, so.

Have you contacted them since, since the war?

Uh, no. Nobody survived. They killed them too, you know. They killed them. The, the girls. We never know what happened actually to them. But nobody knew, you know. But uh, I heard that they killed them.

Let me take you back again to the first days in Auschwitz again, um.

This was a...

What did you think was going to happen next?

That--we was just thinking that we would be all killed already.

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